This article has been written by Nini Sanborg, Master NLP Coach. And former student of Global NLP Training. An insightful piece about friendships.
Imagine a coffee shop with wooden chairs and light chatter noise. My friend it sitting across from me, the little table between us with two cups sitting. She has shorter hair than last time.
We have scheduled this date for weeks. I had to cancel the last time, she cancelled a second time. Probably to make a point. And I managed to be 15 minutes late, of course. A pair of lightly irritated eyes howling from the inside of the window when I entered. The date hasn’t started and I already managed to annoy her! I feel like I owe this date all excuses and every ounce of my good-will. After ages of back and forth we´re finally doing this. Has it been forever or what? Yeah, there is probably a reason for that.
“So tell me , how are you?”
“Oh great, Harry is great and really enjoying golfing this time around! And the children had their semester-show last Tuesday, what an astonishing performance”.
“Ah how nice. Well, I have the same single life as always. Was wasted to a new level Friday night, called every boyfriend I ever had with no reply’s.”
Comparing experiences. Chit chat. The ring a ding ding for female coffee dates commences when the Iphone 6 is up, focusing on the coffee cup, me the friend blurred in the background. A perfect Saturday.
In the sea of catch-up topics and predictable stories, awkwardly deep questions start to echo in my head. “Have I been born into this life to talk about tiles? Is this it? After years of friendship-having this is what it has come down to? Where has the fun gone? Where is the head rolling laughter, the crazy timing, the immensely fun perspectives and the comradery? Where is my jack sparrow accomplice? And why does Netflix seem like the better option every time I do this?”
I will never stop to be amazed of the amount of dullness I accept in my life. The mid 20s crisis was hard on the ego, I´ll admit that. I have always looked at myself as a person who was soaring with friends. Friends where everywhere during the study-years. In every class, in every party, friends of friends where my friends naturally. Casually hanging out, building bonds and being buddy buds on such a profound level. Never mind the fact that we where all in the same life-situation, somewhat of the same age and demanded the exact same on the weekends ( a tequila-shot and a hunky Espanol por favor)
But as we grow older I find myself clinging to all sorts of weird relationships, without really understanding why.
Nr 1: The workout friend. Talks about their life in bumper-sticker and always have a good health tip to any love problem. Deep as puddle, loyal as a poodle.
Nr 2: The La-familia-friend: Demands your loyalty to a certain social group in order to hang out with them – the code of “only be friends with us and no one else”. Tough crowd to please.
Nr 3: The Nostalgia-friend: The one who refuses to move on in life or conversation : “ Remember that trip in 1991 where we all drank cherry-berry booze? “. Maybe boring, but luckily a good reminder of never letting your past go.
Nr 4: The superstar-friend. You have fun when being graced with her presence – but the feeling of never really getting to her is exhausting. Slight flashbacks to the Saturday you tried speed-dating, working harder than Santa on Christmas eve.
Nr 5: The fan-friend. The one that is a little too excited to hang out with you. Sure its fun for a while, but the date could never last over an hour or two. Its hard to keep the jokes going for much longer than that and soon the good old nana appears – not much to show the fan base.
Nr 6: Guilty-friend. The friend that makes you feel bad. My personal favorite. Friendships I have really dived into the last few years, with focus and determination. Why are they acting like I owe them something? Have I wronged them in some way? As my friend the german says: Harder, better, stronger, faster. Next time I´ll make them happy.
Is there some standard-guide for people you should surround yourself with that I have missed? Is it going to get even worse when I get older – an Armageddon of political correct friendships forevermore? Do I have to accept the fact that my future husband is my best friend?
But then of course you have the great friends. The people who light up your road and put a smile on your soul. Some you´ll meet on a regular basis. Some is wild horses who never will be able to keep a date ( and If that person considers himself as a super-star friend I am casually ignoring that).
Why bother with finding good friends at all?
Because it’s the true jizzt of life – the essence of it all , the reason that we are all here! Ok maybe not, but it does feel great to catch up. Its the relationships in your life that makes it worth living, and holds your life´s true value. Shitty relationships, shitty life. And vice versa. Laughing loudly, disagreeing fiercely, dissing on each other In a light loveable way. Aah friendships is so good when its good.
That person you come home with after the coffee date to her worryingly tidy apartment and you ask her if that OCD stuff is cleared up yet. She says no and the tea-party has begun – laughter and bliss.
But, until I find a way to make more and better friends l´ll cope with the dull dates. No one must know that I am bored or that I have not consciously chosen friends for years. Nor that I use them as a perverse scheme to make the time pass by. I wonder if this high-standard behavior will work magic with my love life as well?
Rain is dripping outside the coffee shop and my mind has wandered far away to philosophy- -and-wonder-land.
“Hmm? Oh yes sorry what did you say?
“I was asking if you wanted to join our try-one-new-thing-every-week-challenge? We are going to mini golf with Gretel and Hans!”
I give her a big smile, and say: “That will be so nice. Which date?”
I can’t stop myself. And really, what’s a few boring hours compared to the feeling of being left out? I`ll bring Christine. Maybe she will bring the fun.